Month: August 2014

The Diaper Bag: Your Season’s Fashion Must

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A parent’s diaper bag is a vital accessory once baby arrives. When Jia was pretty new to us, I would get a little bit anxious leaving the house because I really didn’t know what I needed to stuff inside of it and if there was enough of it all. Sometimes I’d go out and realize I left my nursing cover at home, or I would have an abundance of burp cloths but forgot to replenish the stock of bibs in the diaper bag. While preparing to leave the house by changing a diaper, feeding, or getting Jia strapped into her carseat, I needed my husband to make sure the diaper bag was ready.

We cloth diaper at home with Cloth-eez pre fold diapers with Thirsties Duo Wraps (with snaps) or Bummis Simply Lite diaper covers, and use The Honest Company‘s eco-friendly/baby-friendly disposables when we’re “on-the-go” for an extended period of time or for overnight. But, if we are going on a short afternoon trip, we tend to keep Jia in cloth. That being said, our diaper bag is usually pretty stuffed to the brim.

Here’s what we always have in our bag:  Continue reading

Boobie-nomics: Nature’s Supply & Demand

Boobienomics

I was just recently asked to write a post about building a milk supply, not because of difficulties in latch or getting the milk let-down going, but how to amplify a breastmilk stockpile and what to do to make sure your supply is maintained. So here goes:

So my passion for breastfeeding first started back in my days spent as a summer intern at The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) in Lafayette, Indiana. In the weeks leading up to our World Breastfeeding Week Celebrations August 1-7 (World Breastfeeding Week), the other interns and I worked tirelessly to artfully craft displays, flyers, educational games for kids to learn about breastfeeding, and other materials to promote breastfeeding. During the celebrations, we  sat in breastfeeding workshops to help mothers learn about baby latching and baby holding techniques, helped educate WIC clients, and played games to create a positive atmosphere surrounding “Breast is Best.” I remember that even at the young age of 20 I was really looking forward to breastfeeding my future baby.  My most impassioned presentations in my undergraduate studies, particularly in my Nutrition Communications class (F&N 424 taught by Barbara Mayfield), surrounded the physiological/immunological benefits of breastmilk to the infant. I even flirted with the possibility of becoming IBCLC Certified to be a Lactation Consultant (I decided not to because it would be way too expensive and take way too long to complete while working full time as an ICU nurse).  Continue reading

Introducing my Sprout to Solids

Blog Post Solids Photo

As a dietetics major in undergrad, we were well-versed in maternal and infant nutrition since this was one of our core requirements come our senior year in the program. We learned about theories behind maternal nutrition throughout pregnancy and postpartum, as well as what baby needs to thrive. What was always hammered into our Maternal and Infant Nutrition course was that baby should know how to support her own head, have an interest in the food of those around her, and be 6 months old.

Six months, six  months, six months!

Baby’s iron stores are only good enough to last 6 months out of the womb (as well as zinc, protein, vitamins B and D), so by the time baby reaches 6 months of age, iron-fortified cereal has long been the recommendation as a first food for baby for as long as I can remember. Breastmilk alone is nutritionally complete for the first 6 months of life. I also learned early exposure to solid foods can have a negative impact on baby, mostly because baby’s gut hasn’t fully matured enough to handle solid foods without possible inflammation, allergies, constipation, and/or diarrhea. However, before I even had Jia, I noticed on my Facebook newsfeed that a lot of my friends were starting their babies on solid foods right around the 4 month mark. Despite all of the adorable pictures of babies with food all over their faces, in my head I questioned this since it went against what I learned all those years back in college.  Continue reading

Tooth Decay and Long-Duration Breastfeeding?! Not Even Close.

Blog Post 8.8.14

I apologize for the length of my first real entry on Little Sproutings. I am very passionate about this topic so I felt it was my job to address it very thoroughly!

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I recently came across an article on Parenting.com titled, “Breastfeeding Longer than 2 Years Associated with Tooth Decay,” where they cited a research study that claimed there was an association with long-term breastfeeding – that of which lasts longer than 24 months of age – with tooth decay. As a happily breastfeeding mom and a huge champion of moms being able to breastfeed as long as they are capable, I was deeply disturbed by this claim.

Not only was this statement irresponsible and dangerous, but I was also disappointed to have this article pop up from another one of their tweets during World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7). 

First of all, breastfeeding is the best choice a mother can make for her infant/toddler (if she is not experiencing any physical problems with the ability to breastfeed). It provides the best immune system antibodies, great bonding opportunities, and helps reduce the risk of SIDS by developing a strong airway by utilizing a stronger sucking mechanism, among many other benefits that I will address in a later post. So, any attempt to find any negative association with breastfeeding leads me to criticize the source. Second, throwing a claim out there to the public – in a parenting forum – is likely going to make many families question the great decision that they have been making: breastfeeding as long as the baby will do so. 

As with any alarming or suspicious conclusions or conversely, anything that seems “too good to be true,” make sure you look into what research article they are referencing. Continue reading

Why “Little Sproutings” was Planted

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One Friday this past July my husband Jeff, our nearly 5 month old daughter Jia, and I were driving to Brooklyn, NY to attend a friend’s wedding. We started talking about my friend who has two little girls, one the same age as Jia and the other almost two years old. She and I would message back and forth on Facebook, taking turns between asking for advice and answering the other one’s questions about babies and being a mom. Most recently,  she’d asked how I weaned Jia off of nighttime feedings, how often Jia nurses in the daytime/at what intervals, and how I structure her nap times. She lightheartedly referred to me as “mommy extraordinaire” and was slightly embarrassed at sounding like a first-time mommy.  Mommy Extraordinaire? I felt flattered but couldn’t help but laughed to myself. I told her that I am far from extraordinary; however, I give lots of credit to my many mamma friends for the great advice that has helped me through my formative months as a new mom.

As Jeff and I continued up the never-ending NJ Turnpike, we talked about how I should start a blog – a discussion area – as a resource to other moms with similar concerns that I have had as a new mom (for example, key foods that I have had in the cupboard throughout Jia’s intolerance to soy and dairy, how Jia sleep trained, my quest for the least poo-accident-prone cloth diapering system, baby items that I couldn’t live without, or items that I wish I’d had when Jia was a newborn that would have made my life much easier!), tying in my knowledge as a healthcare provider (we all know you should vaccinate your kids, so what’s the deal with the resurgence of whooping cough and measles?). 

Jeff thought my perspective would be unique. My experiences working in public health and as a nurse would allow me to reach an audience at more of an educational level, while at the same time I am a new and (at times) struggling mom who is also learning. Every baby is both special and unique, and parenting styles vary from family to family.

I am in no way a pediatric expert or even a near-perfect mom. I just hope that my experiences, both good and bad, along with the legwork I have put in to researching various topics and products, will be helpful to someone one way or another. If my readers are able to learn from my mistakes or benefit from my input, then I’ll be paying it forward!

A big big hug to my husband who gave me the encouragement and support to get this thing going, and to Brooker for helping me get started! Many huge thanks to my Mom, Mother-in-Law Joyce, Armita C., Berry T., Crystal A., Cynthia T., Debbie H., Desiree C., Erin C., Erin M., Heather W., Katie T., Kelly D., Lee G., Mary M., Megan K., Megan W., Patty F., Sam K., and all the other mommies out there who have helped me along the way! 

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